Animal models for photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Zenildo Santos Silva, Sandra Kalil Bussadori, Kristianne Porta Santos Fernandes, Ying Ying Huang, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) employs non-toxic dyes called photosensitizers (PSs), which absorb visible light to give the excited singlet state, followed by the long-lived triplet state that can undergo photochemistry. In the presence of ambient oxygen, reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals are formed that are able to kill cancer cells, inactivate microbial pathogens and destroy unwanted tissue. Although there are already several clinically approved PSs for various disease indications, many studies around the world are using animal models to investigate the further utility of PDT. The present review will cover the main groups of animal models that have been described in the literature. Cancer comprises the single biggest group of models including syngeneic mouse/rat tumours that can either be subcutaneous or orthotopic and allow the study of anti-tumour immune response; human tumours that need to be implanted in immunosuppressed hosts; carcinogen-induced tumours; and mice that have been genetically engineered to develop cancer (often by pathways similar to those in patients). Infections are the second biggest class of animal models and the anatomical sites include wounds, burns, oral cavity, ears, eyes, nose etc. Responsible pathogens can include Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. A smaller and diverse group of miscellaneous animal models have been reported that allow PDT to be tested in ophthalmology, atherosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, dermatology and wound healing. Successful studies using animal models of PDT are blazing the trail for tomorrow's clinical approvals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00265
JournalBioscience Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Autochthonous
  • Cancer
  • Genetically-engineered mouse model
  • Infection
  • Orthotopic tumour
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Subcutaneous tumour
  • Xenograft.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Animal models for photodynamic therapy (PDT)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this